Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Next Argument

How important is energy efficiency to you?  Would you pay more for it?  If you were the bigwig developer and you had a gaggle of new buildings to build, would you spend the extra money to make it the most energy efficient it could be?  Those are three questions that have recently been bandied about and here’s what I think the majority answers from the business owner/developer community would be. 

“Yes, energy efficiency is important to me.  If this were a public poll then ‘yes’ I would pay more for it.  If it’s confidential or my name is not on it, not a chance.  And as for the question on spending extra money… well I didn’t get to the point of developing buildings by spending ‘extra’ on anything!”

This is our problem, we build the products and push the attributes, but if it costs more, a lot more, it will always be a struggle.  We have a society right now that no matter what they say publicly will always defer to the bottom line when it comes to financial decisions.  So last week issues like this were discussed at the GANA Fall Conference and it was fascinating on several levels.  First off was the one the leaders of the discussion was an anti-glass industry guy back in the NFRC battles and now somehow he’s back on stage being this great sage of advice. Unreal.  He personally stood in the way of consensus many times, caused a ton of rancor and I just find it comical that now he’s the one telling the industry what to do.   The other fascinating thing is the codes issue.  As we have seen with other battles at the code arena, if done wrong, the codes could have a tremendously negative effect.  They also could raise costs even more.  Heck groups like the NFRC (sorry, back on that) account for additional costs now that in my opinion do not make sense or pay off. (Go ask a window manufacturer)  So what does this rambling rant mean? 

Basically we have to get past the money proposition by having clear and concise arguments on why the new technology coming from our industry is better and how it works.  Showing how it works, showing the improved energy modeling and being aggressive with technology and working with every component to ensure the products we deliver are a must have.  As an example people buy expensive cars all the time not because of status (though some do) but because they have a belief system that the expensive car is BETTER and will last longer and at the end of the day will be worth the investment.  We have to push that our product, the glass, the frame etc. will be going into a building and expected to last 50 years.  They won’t be changing it.  The owner will change the carpet every few years, re-paint every few years, tear out interior offices and remodel every few years… but the curtain wall is set…and there… forever… so why not make it the best?  Let’s prove it.


--  There’s more to say on the above… and in coming weeks we’ll get to it.  And with GlassBuild over I plan on a few more interviews (with people MUCH smarter than me) to keep this discussion going.  It’s an important one; it is a part of our future.

--  One of my past interview subjects and one of the most intelligent people when it comes to talking our future, Mark Silverberg had a great link from his twitter account recently on the top 10 green building practices of 2013.  This list was pretty interesting overall and something for everyone to be aware of.

--  Very sad news last week with the passing of Arthur Balik, retired Chairman of General Glass International (GGI). Arthur along with his brother Al (who passed away last year) were pillars in this industry and were a huge part of building the infrastructure we all work in today.  I’d assume Arthur had to be extremely proud of the advancements his company made over the years.  My thoughts go out to the Balik family on their loss.

To the lighter side to end this week…

--  I did see at GlassBuild America people still using a Blackberry.  So I am not alone.  But come May, I am moving on…  very scared…
--  I saw the movie Pain and Gain, it was the re-make of an amazing newspaper series I covered here a while back.  And of course Hollywood ruined it.  Only Hollywood could take a story that is built for a movie and screw it up.
--  Finished the latest College Football expose by John Bacon called “4th and Long” and it was a decent read.  If you are a college football fan, it’s worth looking into.  By the way, I see a work stoppage or some sort of major protest coming to college football soon.  Some seeds were planted this weekend and I have a feeling these players, who are being exploited badly, will start to band together.  And yes that is a story for another time too.


--  These parents are disasters… thanks for raising kids who will be worse than you.

--  Great read on weight loss and a success story

And speaking of bad parenting… wow… and also paranoia payingoff.


Thanks to good friend Mike Dishmon of Virginia Glass for the heads up on this one… the old “hidden ball” trick actually in use!  Very cool.

1 comment:

Diane B said...

Sadly, my Crackberry died a while back so now I have a droid. Although it wasn't as painfull as expected, I still miss my Crackberry. Every day. Always enjoy your posts!